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5 things to know for May 23: Weather, Washington, Botswana, Philippines & Canada, AI

The human-like robot, Digit, is integrated with Ford's autonomous vehicles and can walk up stairs to deliver your packages right to your front door all by itself.

Posted: May 31, 2019 11:01 AM
Updated: May 31, 2019 11:01 AM

New York to London in 90 minutes or less? An Atlanta-based aerospace company is trying to develop a plane that will make that possible.

Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Weather

A tornado overnight slammed Jefferson City, Missouri, causing widespread damage and wreaking havoc in the state's capital city. It's one of 171 tornadoes reported since Friday across the central US. The twister in Jefferson City sent debris 13,000 feet into the air and even blew a house underneath a tractor-trailer. No deaths have been reported so far, but that's sadly not the case in Golden City, Missouri, where three people were killed when a tornado rolled through earlier in the day. The deadly spring storm system has also brought flooding to Oklahoma and severe weather to Iowa. Tornadoes could pose threats today from Lubbock, Texas, to Kansas City and from Columbus, Ohio, to Philadelphia, and serious flooding along the already-swollen Mississippi River is expected in the central US as more rain falls in coming days.

2. Washington

Well, so much for Infrastructure Week. A meeting at the White House about fixing crumbling US bridges, roads and pipes -- the one issue Democrats and the President seemed to be on the same page on -- was pretty much blown up minutes after it started. And, of course, there's finger-pointing about who is at fault. Trump blames House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had earlier said the President "is engaged in a cover-up." Pelosi blames Trump, who after cutting short the infrastructure meeting held a hastily-called news conference in the Rose Garden and declared nothing would get done in Washington until Dems drop all their investigations. CNN's Stephen Collinson said Trump's walkout marks a point of no return.

3. Botswana

Botswana has dropped its ban on elephant hunting. The southern African nation is home to 130,000 elephants. That's about a third of all elephants on the continent. The ban was put in place five years ago to deter poaching, but local residents complained that elephants have been damaging crops, killing livestock and destroying water supplies. Conservationists have warned that the African elephant could become extinct if it's not protected. Meanwhile, in the neighboring country of Zimbabwe, a ban on hunting buffaloes with bows and arrows has been lifted in a bid to boost tourism and revenue.

4. Canada and the Philippines 

Looks like the trash tiff between the Philippines and Canada is over. The Canadians agreed to take back 2,450 tons of trash that were shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014. The containers were marked as recyclable plastics, but they really contained other kinds of waste, like newspapers and diapers. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was so upset about it, he recalled his country's ambassador to Canada. Now, Canada says it will haul the garbage back across the Pacific and pay the full cost of the operation.

5. Artificial intelligence assistants

Do AI assistants like Alexa and Siri perpetuate gender stereotypes? The United Nations thinks so. The assistants enable the notion that "women are obliging, docile and eager-to-please helpers, available at the touch of a button or with a blunt voice command," says a report by UNESCO, the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The report also notes that the assistants -- which are all voiced by women as a default setting -- give passive and polite responses when users make sexually abusive remarks. UNESCO says this problem can be fixed by not making digital assistant voices female by default and programming them to discourage abusive or sexist language.

TODAY'S NUMBERS

$300,000

That's how much attorney Michael Avenatti is accused of stealing from ex-client Stormy Daniels. A federal grand jury in New York indicted the celebrity lawyer for that and for allegedly trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike. Avenatti told CNN he will be "fully exonerated."

5.2

The percentage of new cancer cases in the US in 2015 that were linked to a poor diet, a new study says

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Mission to Mars

You may never make it to Mars, but your name -- etched on NASA's latest rover -- just might.

The robots are coming

Thanks to Ford, robots can now deliver packages straight to your front door.

Mission accomplished

Meet the nurse who graduated from NYU years after he worked there as a janitor.

Fender bender

You can stay in a big hotel, or you can stay in a big hotel shaped exactly like a guitar.

'If you don't know, now you know ...'

A Brooklyn street will be renamed for the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. on what would have been his 47th birthday.

HAPPENING LATER

Getting out

John Walker Lindh, known as the "American Taliban," is set to be released today from a federal prison in Indiana. He was the first US-born detainee in the war on terror and has served 17 years of a 20-year sentence.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"I am getting fed up ..."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, perhaps speaking for all of us, as he describes his feelings about Brexit delays

AND FINALLY

Venomous vittles

Cooking with poison? The residents of a remote island in Japan have been doing that for years. (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
Kosciusko468540
Howard357977
Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
Wabash168121
Miami166614
Daviess160144
Steuben150713
Fayette150034
Jasper147413
Montgomery146627
Harrison145524
LaGrange145031
Whitley140814
Ripley138515
Huntington130910
Decatur128243
Wells127930
Putnam127828
White127522
Clay126523
Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
Starke94021
Jennings88714
Fulton86419
Spencer8588
Perry83721
Fountain8078
Washington7837
Franklin71327
Carroll69613
Orange69028
Vermillion6444
Owen6317
Tipton58927
Parke5886
Newton56912
Rush5658
Blackford54012
Pike51619
Pulaski41115
Martin3645
Benton3553
Brown3514
Crawford3031
Union2752
Switzerland2605
Warren2542
Ohio2337
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
Morrow9202
Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
Pike7661
Gallia76513
Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
Carroll48810
Meigs39612
Monroe32321
Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
Unassigned00
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